Details revealed of Hamas hostage deal proposal

Hamas wants 4.5 months’ ceasefire leading to an end to the war and the release of 500 high-profile terrorists from Israeli prisons.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Details of Hamas’ counterproposal for a hostage return deal show that it is still insisting on crossing red lines Israel already laid down in the past.

Among its ideas that have been previously nixed, the terror organization is demanding a 4.5 months-long ceasefire that would lead to a permanent IDF withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, and the ability to select which 500 terrorists serving life sentences should be freed from Israeli prisons as part of a much large prisoner release.

In the first 45 days, all women, children, elderly and ill abductees would be freed for their counterparts among Palestinian security prisoners. During this time, Israel would have to stop all its military operations, including observation flights, and greatly increase the flow of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. Hamas specified that this would include fuel, which it uses to power underground generators so its leaders and men can remain comfortably in its still-vast network of tunnels.

In the second 45 days, all male hostages would be freed in exchange for 1,500 male prisoners, including 500 it could choose themselves. At this stage, the IDF would not only have to leave Gaza, but also stop its siege on the coastal enclave that prevents arms from flowing back to replenish Hamas’ deadly supply.

Israel’s war cabinet has been clear that the IDF will have to maintain full security control over the Gaza Strip, possibly for years, to ensure that its citizens are never threatened again by any kind of attack from the enclave.

An exchange of hostage and Hamas bodies and remains is left for the last 45-day period. Out of the 136 men, women and children the terrorists abducted on October 7 during their invasion and massacre of 1,200 people, the IDF has confirmed that 32 of them have been murdered or died in captivity, with officials saying that reports are being examined of an additional 20 being dead.

During this time, Hamas said a truce would also be finalized to end the war.

This definitely does not accord with Israel’s official goal of the war to utterly destroy Hamas, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a moderate response to the proposal’s release that “Its details will be studied in depth by all the parties involved in the negotiations.”

This contrasted with an unnamed source quoted in the media immediately after news of the list of demands broke, who said, “We will not accept any conditions for ending the war.”

Read  As IDF prepares to invade Rafah, Netanyahu agrees to restart negotiations with Hamas

Israel’s coalition includes right-wing parties that have already said that they would bring down the government if it acquiesces to unreasonable Hamas demands. The Likud party itself, the largest element in the coalition, contains many MKs who would also balk at most of these ideas, maintaining that their public demands that the party keep its promises over how it will conduct the fight against Hamas.